Catch Professor Casid’s new film Untitled (Melancholy as Medium) streaming online until September 25th in the NYC gallery exhibition artists + allies iv organized by Signs and Symbols. Casid joins artist Michelle Handelman whose lastest film Claiming the Liminal Space (2021) in her The Pandemic Series that takes inspiration from Casid’s theory-meets-praxis call for grief work as creative, activist resource for public reckoning with the necropolitical conditions of endless war that made a virus pandemic and lethal: “May none of us rest as live our dying. May we not forget but actually do the work of reckoning with the still uncounted, of the endless war we are still in.”
Asking what art can do with the ways we are being undone in the face of call to return to the ‘new normal,’ Casid’s short film calls up an activist wake that refuses to move on. Unfolding a ritual of mediumship, the film conduces our outraged grief as catalytic for the uprising and care work of living with more than one virus, amidst more than one pandemic, carrying our as yet unaddressed losses into the battles we are still waging in the name of supports for the thriving of Black, Brown, Indigenous, crip, queer and trans vitalities.
Centered on a set of fragile Polaroids, the film conjures with the material fragility of analogue photography to commune with the incalculable but still powerful presence of unredressed loss. In reversing the primacy of showing over telling, the film incorporates disability access as aesthetic gain by making closed captioning integral and image description its primary vehicle.